Dear Future Wife

To you, where ever you are, I hope you read this and see how I feel about meeting you.

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Dear Future Wife,

So I just had epiphany; so till now I never realized what a great man my dad was, I mean literally. I know everyone says that but hear me out.

I remember in 1994 when my mom had just given birth and my dad offered to sleep with the kid so my mom could rest, so he and my little sister slept in the spare room, while my mom had their room to herself. Did I tell you my dad would come home from work and head to the kitchen to pound yam? He would leave for work by 7am, drop us at school, head to the office and still come back home by 6pm to pound yam for his wife. He could have had any of us pound the yam but no, he wanted to do it himself. Believe me, it was like seeing a leprechun or unicorn for us, because my siblings and I would stand around the kitchen door watching him do kitchen work with huge smiles on our faces. I remember the one time he made us lunch because my mom had gone to a meeting, it was not the bestest but I loved it because my dad made it.

My dad spoilt us silly, we literally got everything we wanted, don’t get me wrong, he always made sure we worked hard for whatever we wanted but my dad was not a disciplinarian, he was a motivator. My dad craved education but the civil war put paid to his ambition, so he made sure we had quality education and everything else he craved as a kid. I remember going Christmas shopping with my dad at Lenards and later Bata, we always looked forward to those moments. It wasn’t always about getting new shoes but also having to spend more than a couple of hours with our father and he never complained.

So in 2001 when he died in a car accident, it rocked us to our roots; it was only then I began to see the harsh reality my dad’s imposing figure had been shielding us from. Learning to live without my dad was like learning to walk all over again. You see where others feared and respected their dads, I admired and respected mine. There wasn’t any real fear, just the fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. He was more like an older friend or brother, who you were afraid to disappoint. That was my greatest fear; to disappoint my dad, which I did successfully in 2000 when I repeated a class, the look he gave me when he saw my result still haunts me, I can still hear the pain in his voice when he said, “You repeated a class!” My dad always encouraged us to talk to him about anything. My dad used to perform magic tricks for us, I just remembered that!

My dad was hands on with my mom and his children. When my mom used to rear poultry, my dad was her delivery boy and I never once heard him complain. He would come home some evenings and line us up and cleaned the wounds we must have gotten playing in the yard.

Why am I droning on about my dad, a man you will never meet? Well I am just stating my stronger points, I am a work in progress but I have had a good role model, if I can be half the husband my dad was to my mom and father he was to us, then definitely we would be fine.

I will rub your feet when you get home from work at the end of the day, I will listen to you talk about how your day went, even though I am bored out of my mind and all I want to do is sleep. I will appreciate every moment I get with you because those are what counts in the long run; what keeps the relationship grinding even in hard times.

And when you have little me’s and you’s, I would do my best to ensure that I play an active part in raising them and when you do decide you need a rest, don’t worry, I will keep up after you; don’t fret, I got this, I have had years of practise.

I am going to be your friend your mentor, your motivator, your champion and above all your husband; in every sense of the word.

I do not know where you are, I look for you in the many faces I pass by everyday in hope I find you therein and all I see are eyes that lie and smiles that deceive but I know you are out there somewhere and I am going to find you.

I cannot wait to start a life with you, make a home with you, I recognize that life is not a bed of roses but I will do my best to give you the semblance that it is. And even if you get roses, I will pick off the thorns.

I promise to be by your side till we are 92, watching and replaying the memories we have created, while our accomplishments grow all around us.

So where ever you are, come out, break up with that guy already and come start a new chapter in what I suppose has been an amazing life and even it hasn’t, we are about to glam it up, because I put the U in fun.

Yours faithfully,

Your Future Husband

 

Knife’s edge

How would I kill myself? What would be the most painless way to end it all? Poison, hanging, running in front of a speeding vehicle? All these involved some measure of pain and I was already in so much emotional pain, I did not need more. I just sat in my seat as other cars sped by, the other occupants in the car oblivious to my thoughts. I could use the cord for my cable, it was long enough and hang myself from the hook for the ceiling fan when my sister and niece had gone to bed. My mattress was high enough, all I needed to do was jump and snap!!! Over and done with.

Then I thought what would my sister’s reaction would be when she woke up in the morning and found my stiff worthless body hanging loose from the ceiling? Their tears kinda broke my resolve, like I had thought of my burial expenses, the stigma of having taken my own life and how it would follow them for the rest of theirs. The look of derision from my extended family and how my family has been nothing but trouble. That was not something I would wish on my younger ones especially at this trying times of our lives.
I used to think suicide was selfish but yesterday I realized that everyone has a breaking point and I reached mine yesterday, for here I was in a car in the company of friends thinking of the most painless and quiet way to end my misery without my death being a burden to my loved ones. I welcomed that thought with open arms, for once suicide seemed like a viable option. At that moment, I understood suicide, though selfish, it was the only option; you would do anything to escape pain, you were not thinking of anything, just escape, at that moment, the world was a blur, the only thing that existed was you and your pain. I have carried my pain for 3 years and I had handled it as best as I could but I am tired of being strong, I am tired of looking happy on the outside but struggling to be alive on the inside, I am tired of feeling like I do not measure up, I am tired of trying and failing, I am tired of praying and it gets worse still, I am tired of everything, I just want to close my eyes one last time and not have to worry ever again.
I always used to console myself with the thought that despite my situation, there was somebody who wished they were me or who was worse off, you know what? Yesterday that didn’t cross my mind, I just wanted to die. A friend had told me she OD’ed on drugs, but I did not want to writhe or panic, I just wanted quick, painless death.
I do not want to die by my own hands but believe me, it is not scary anymore, I am just weary of that little push, I am on the edge already. Just one push…..

No matter how strong a person is, alls they need is a little push and that is the end.

I am okay for now, maybe now I have put my thoughts in words, they would go away.

Princesses are no one

Every girl, scratch that, most girls, nope, scratch that, some girls; that sounds about right. Some girls dream about marrying a charming prince, a knight in shining armor, who would come sweep them off their feet, treat her to a life of grandeur, luxury and her life made into songs and stories that would be told for years to come.

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Now before I go on, I must advise that this article has some Game of Thrones spoilers and as such, any ardent fan who has not seen season 7 or episode 4 of the 7th season, should best steer clear.
And for those who have not seen Game of Thrones, lemme just give you a brief crash course. There lived an honest man named Ned Stark, who had four sons (one was supposedly born out of wedlock) and two daughters Arya and Sansa (since my article would revolve basically around these two, I will just give you an insight into their lives). Sansa all her life had dreamt of marrying a prince and living in castles, so growing up, she has learned to talk and walk the right way and also act the right way. She was the perfect example of a high born child, prim and perfect. Her sister Arya on the other hand was a polar opposite, while Sansa learnt to knit and sew, she was playing in the mud with boys, learning how to catch cats, fight with swords and simply doing all the things that girls would never do. One time her father tried selling the idea of acting like a lady and marrying a prince and living in a castle and her reply was simply “That is not me.”

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Sansa soon got her chance at living her dream, when she was promised to wed the supposed son of the king; Robert, who was also her father’s best friend. Lord Ned Stark and his girls would then move South to live with the King and also serve as the king’s right hand man.

Sansa was living her dream, she had servants at her beck and call, hobnobbed with people of authority and royalties from other lands, wore expensive dresses and enjoyed the admiration of the court.
But soon tragedy struck, through a series of unfortunate events, the King Robert died, her father Ned Stark lost his head, literally at the behest of her betrothed Joffery, who then cast her away when he saw a maiden who he desired more than he did the meek Sansa. The pretty, fragile Sansa would soon be forced to marry a dwarf, then again sold to a sick depraved man, who raped her on her wedding night and took what was left of her innocence.
All the while her kid sister Arya in the wake of her father’s beheading took flight and in that period learnt to survive in the mean world. She became a survivor, acquired skills that stood her apart from most and became her own woman. Little Arya became a deadly assassin, hunting down all the people responsible for their family’s misery.

In the 4th episode of seventh season, the Stark children finally make their way home after years of being separated from each other. Only four of them had survived the war against their family and in that time, Jon the bastard son had become leader of the Night’s watch and later King in the North, Bran the second of the true Stark boys had become the three eyed raven, a man who could see into the past and the future, Arya had become a great swords man or woman and a deadly assassin and Sansa? She was still just Sansa, a lot wiser now but still just Sansa. Staring from the balcony of their castle in Winterfell as Arya sparred with the giant Brienne of Tarth, one could see all kinds of emotion play on Sansa’s face but the look of emptiness and jealousy could not be mistaken.

It is sad that in today’s world despite the huge advancement in the empowerment of women, many are still content to just play pretty princesses and “slay queens”, which is not a bad thing but is that all there is to life? Even Kim Kardashian owns a self branded boutique, has endorsement deals and looks pretty for a reason. Beyonce is a award winning singer and so is Rihanna. When you move down to our shore, Rita Dominic, Genevive Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekainde are all pretty women making a name in the world while still turning heads.

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Being your own woman ensures that you are in charge of your own destiny and not have your life dependent on the whims of men, who want to treat you as they like, a property they paid for. Yes nothing is certain in the world, but being your own woman means that you are never left in a loop, never get stuck in a bad marriage or relationship because there is nothing else for you to turn to. Because you do not know how to be anything else but wife. Live life on your own terms and at your pace, a life of luxury is good and fine but not if you have to sacrifice your dignity and humanity for it; sad that the true definition of both words are lost on my generation.
And here is a little secret for you, men often treat women as they need because some of them know their partners are solely dependent on them, so they cheat with impunity and sue for peace by buying expensive gifts for their scorned wives. Which I guess is a win-win, if you choose to look at it that way.
The rich also cry, men are scum, at least that is how the mantra goes, so why not weep into a silk handkerchief, than a torn waist wrapper?

Why Do Successful Women Scare Some Men?

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Malala Yousafzai, the Chibok girls these are a just a few of a million women who against all odds seek education. Since the turn of the century, women have been pushed to the forefront of almost everything, even homes, they have becomes masters of industries, leading ladies commanding just as much money as her male counterparts and world leaders, inventors.

There are more women in schools today than there was twenty years ago, there are more female CEOs today than there were twenty years ago, feminism has become rife and the importance of educating the girl child and giving her same opportunities in life as her opposite has never being more pronounced as it is today.

Yet despite these seeming giant strides these women have made, why are the same men who have egged them on, cheered their successes, praised their works scared of them, scared to make them girlfriends or wives? I mean it is so appalling to see men suggest that a woman who drives a car probably got it from “spreading her legs”.

This is a touchy subject for me, I had a long debate about this on Facebook and in the end, I was termed a feminist. Funny thing is, I would fight for women at every corner, when they are denied equal rights as men, that does not make me feminist, it just makes me human. In fact truth be told, some aspects of “feminism” irks me but I would not go into that now.

So why are some men (I want to say MOST but that would seem inappropriate; even though that is what I think.) wary of a successful woman? Anytime you ask that the insecure ones would always say “career women do not make good wives or mothers”, “they emasculate a man, feed on his ego” these are the two most popular answers when the aforementioned question is asked.

But in truth, the real reason, I believe men are scared of successful women, is that men have had it all their way since time immemorial but the rise of women into position of power threatens his masculinity. No longer will the woman depend on him for everything, no longer will the woman be submissive to him, without him earning her respect. Women just up and changed the game and man did not get the memo. Men want a woman successful but not too successful as to rub shoulders with him but successful enough to take care off her primary needs. They want her independent but not too independent as to not have use for him. That is just my take, not an established fact.

Now I believe a woman can be successful without being career driven or oriented, that is the mistake most men make. A career woman could be lawyer at a top firm focused on reaching the highest pinnacle of her career, a successful woman could be a blogger with a billion followers. Big difference.

I tell people who would listen, that even Oprah would submit to a man who earns her respect and relinquish her body and soul to him because she respects him and trusts him. You cannot earn a woman’s respect by acting a fool, cheating and being inconsiderate. No way Jose!!!

Another reason which they would give is that, when the relationship goes belly up, the  woman will know about all the things she did for you. Says the man who lives off the praise he gets for “spoiling his woman”, who goes on a rant when she leaves him for another but hey, it is a man’s world and the woman dare not act out of script, after all it has been centuries in the making.

Not saying successful women are perfect, as with all things there good ones and the not so good ones, there the humble ones and those that have let their wealth get to their head but look closely at the male folk, same applies.

The problem of the world is that it is always too caught up in the 75% of bad news and completely ignore the remaining 25% that should breed hope. There are successful women who have made a success of their career and homes, case in point, Beyonce. No one will accuse her of being a bad mom/wife and not spending enough time with her family. Joy Mangano, Folorunsho Alakija, Dora Akunyili, Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela all successful women and great mothers. Yes they are a few in a million but they are the few that matter.

The fears are unfounded, that much I know, would I want a housewife or a working woman? I would go for the latter 10 times out of 10 for reasons dear to my heart, the secret is sacrifice on both fronts. Living with a successful woman might not be perfect but there people who have made it work, so why not you?

Men need to stop thinking of women as property, especially in this here parts, she has chosen to change her last name, disfigure her body to bear you kids and you can not let her flex her financial muscle because somehow that threatens your manhood! Only a real man can handle a strong, independent woman and that is a fact.

click to see Forbes’ list of 20 powerful moms

Shoot Your Shot

In days past it used to be that if you wanted to talk to a girl, you sent well crafted letters, sweetened with beautiful lyrics from a handful of songs (R n B), if you wanted to go the extra mile, you spread a little fragrance on the often custom designed writing pads. You know the one, those classy colored papers, with aesthetic designs of different sorts, which had the reader awed even before they had even begun to drink up words; you had probably stayed up all night giving life. Those were the days.

Then after you would have to “stalk” the girl, probably wait till after school, church and try talking to her, spinning yarn after yarn; a residue of what you had heard in songs or seen in a movie, trying to sell yourself to the woman of your interest. This ritual might/would last for days, weeks and month even, till finally the girl gave you her landline number.

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LOL, the apprehension of having to call and having your love interest’s father picking up and having to explain why you wanted to speak to his innocent daughter at 7 PM in the evening. I have to say, you really had to put in work back in the day just to get a girl to notice you.

Recently, on our way to yet another wedding, a friend of mine said something that kind of triggered this text, let me paraphrase. He said that nowadays, real men did not have time for “mix-tapes” (aforementioned ritual), if you see a girl you like release your album instantly. I guess he used these allusions because he is a Disc Jockey. But I saw the sense in what he was saying.

At the turn of 2017, the theme on Twitter was “Shoot your shot”, this encouraged people who had romantic intention towards another to speak up or speak out, as it were. Instead of dying in silent or rutting away in the relationship gutter called “friend zone”, it encouraged everyone, irrespective of gender to let their feelings be known.

The truth is, I have never known rejection of affection to kill anyone, if a person shoots you down, rise up and try again, if you fail, try another person, maybe that one person isn’t who you are meant to be with. There is no use nursing feelings for someone without letting them know, it is like planting a flower and hiding it under the bed, with time it withers and die. If you like a person, walk up to them and say it. I like you; I really, really, really like you. LOL not this way though, they might think you are crazy.

The social media has made everything VERY easy, you can be friends with anyone these days and it (the social media) acts as a bridge and at the same time, a wall, so you can spill the contents of your heart to your own content and even if you were rejected, it would not hurt as much as it would face to face. Just do not come on too strong but do not come on too soft either, believe me at any giving time, a lady has at least five men trying to get her attention, so often times the battle is not often with her but her other admirers, so you have got to outdo them.

Letting someone know you like them is not a gender based, anyone can do it but the onus falls on the man to do it but it does not mean that women should not try too. There are ways a woman can let a man know she has feelings for him without being too forward or actually saying the words. Women are often afraid to tell a guy how she feels in these parts because there is the “risk” of her being thought of as a loose person or taken advantage of. Thus ladies prefer to lock away their feelings than tell a guy that she likes her and have him take advantage of her.

The days of suffering in silence are long gone, if you like someone, tell them you do, it does not make you any less of a person, it takes some level of courage to walk up to a person and say “Hey, how are you doing? Being seeing you around and was wondering if you would like to hang out some time?” This sentence is just as innocuous as possible but laced with enough suggestions, which the person it is being proposed to would read one way or the other.

Like someone told me, when you try to “woo” a person, one of two things will happen, he/she will either say yes or no. There is no maybe. When a person says “maybe”, they are already considering to say YES, so that is a yes.

A couple of years ago, I met a girl via Facebook and we got talking, we would talk about everything but I never told her anything about my feelings towards her, mostly because she was in another state and I hate long distant relationships (story for another day). Then one day, out of the blue, we were talking and she asks, “Hilary, when are you going to chyke me?” LOL, it caught me off guard, needless to say, I threw caution to the wind and chyked the heck out of her.

Shoot your shot, if you miss, reload and try again.

2016 killed Christmas

This what Christmas means to me: it was going to the early morning mass in the crisp cold morning in my squeaky clean new shoes, my new clothes and sporting a new haircut, usually a ‘punk’, my heart beaming with joy, the cool harmattan breeze bone cold but I didn’t care cos the day held the promise of a great many assortment of food, plenty to drink and a chance to mingle with family and friends.

Christmas was also an opportunity to spend A WHOLE DAY with my dad at home, not having him at work, just him home with us.

At other times, it was about traveling the long distance between the North and the South-east, catching the sights and listening to my dad tell tales of many Christmases past, the country before we were born and how things were so much better. We slept through most of the journey but when we often awoke, we were greeted by so many interesting sights that included but not exclusive to wandering cattle, palatial buildings, houses perched on rocks, ever green sceneries, great expanse of water and fellow travels heading towards or away from our direction but there was no sight better than the Onitsha head bridge; it usually meant that our journey was almost at its end and that we could soon rest our wary, tired butts.

Christmas was often a time to visit our hometown, see relatives who we hadn’t seen in a while or never before, it was always fun to be told how grown I had become by a face that says he remembers when I was born, even though I have never seen him before. I just bury my chin in my chest, as if to protect me from the prying eye this stranger who looks so much like my mom.  In the village our cousins would take us to see the sights, scouring the land, go swimming in the colored stream that separates my hometown from the other across the way. It was an opportunity to go see the masquerade that scars us but we go see for the thrill of the chase. I remember it now like it was yesterday; dust filled air, stampeding crowds running in all direction except that of the menacing masquerade with the huge stick in its hand, muttering words only its followers understood. The sound of fireworks (knock out), renting the air; its rancid carbide thick in our nostril, sending everyone scampering for safety, it was chaos but we loved it.

The old folks would of sit together over a keg of palm wine reminiscing about the past; while the kids played in the corner without a worry listening in fascination as they talked of a past filled with war, parties and simplicity of so many things.

Christmas for me was more than just the commemoration of the birth of Christ, it was hearing the choir belt out my entire favorite Christmas songs, and it was a great many things because Christmas represented HAPPINESS. All worries were put aside for the duration of the celebration, as if to say “I will worry later.”

This year when I look around, all I see are sad and forlorn faces, the radio stations do not play the Christmas carols with the vigor and consistency of years past. It is like everybody is collectively mourning what has been a truly tumultuous year. Christmas died in 2016 but maybe it will rise again in 2017.

So here is to 2017.

The Single Guy Diary: No strings

No strings that is the lie people tell themselves when they walk into a relationship that benefits both parties strictly sexually; friends with benefits, that is what that is called. The problem with FWB is that at the end of the day someone gets hurt, they might not show it to the other person but they are hurt all the same.

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The principle behind FWB is doing something emotive frequently over a considerable period of time without involving any form of emotion which to me is absolutely ridiculous, because at any given time, sex with a person involves some sort of emotion, even in its minutest form.

Imagine working all day at the mechanic’s in a white overall, there is a million to one chances that you get grease on you. Unless you cover your overalls in a plastic suit but emotions aren’t exactly as practical as that.

Repetition breeds familiarity and familiarity more often than not breeds emotions; that is just the law of nature. Without noticing it you begin to get hurt when they do not pick your calls or blow off a booty call. You start to wonder who they are with and what they are doing, why they blew you off; catching feelings.

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Imagine this is if you will, a man who patronizes women of the night, has become familiar with a particular prostitute; let us call her Cynthia, in a certain red light district. He usually picks her up on the corner of 5th Avenue, from whence he takes her to the little room he keeps in one of them nondescript hotels in the area. But on this day, Cynthia is not standing there but instead there is Amina. nostringsattachedBut Amina unlike Cynthia would not have a conversation with him and thinks the hotel is too tacky and leaves immediately after the deed is done, leaving our man to return home early to his snarling wife! Routine ruined!!! Believe me as soon as Amina leaves, his next call would be to Cynthia inquiring why she was not at her post.

Don’t get me wrong oh!!! I am not saying FWB is wrong!! Or equating it to prostitution!!  Nope. I just used the above scenario to buttress the fact that familiarity breeds emotions. FWB is an arrangement of convenience with each or both party looking to get a particular something out of it.

Not all FWB arrangements look exactly the way it should. Before I go any further, lemme try to describe how a FWB works. Two neighbors/colleague/absolute strangers decide to have illicit sex without having to label their relationship. They are just two consenting adults who are having sex because having a real relationship is such a hassle. But you notice that in today’s society a lot of relationships are FWB in disguise but they just give the relationship a tag just to feel better about what they are doing.

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If your partner only calls/meets you when they need something and disappears almost immediately after, then you need to rethink the tag on that relationship. FWB has been in existence long before someone put a moniker on it, so it is not exactly alien to many people. In fact it has been accepted as a type of relationship.

Here as some basic rules of FWB:

  1. Do think twice about hooking up with a neighbor.
  2. Don’t convince yourself the relationship is more serious than it is.
  3. Proceed with caution if you meet someone new.
  4. Never encourage friends and family to hang out with your FWB.
  5. You don’t have to sleep over.
  6. Don’t get mad if your FWB goes out with someone else.
  7. Keep it strictly business, going to the movies and hanging out blurs the line.
  8. Play safe use a condom. You don’t want to be having this conversation:

“Dad/mom, how did I come into the world?”

“Erm, my child, you are a product of one night of fun sex.”

  1. Mix it up. Have more than one FWB, they do not all have to be sexual though.
  2. Do not overthink things, it is what it was or else the situation changes, it is just sex.
  3. Avoid routines; avoid talking every day, avoid seeing each other every day,
  4. Avoid mushy text messages, it might send the wrong message.9f6fc3dff6d56afa3dfddb0c46d5d05a

As with life there aren’t exact rules to FWB, these are just guidelines to help you as you transition into it; you make the rest up as you go. But believe me catching feelings is as easy as “I thought of you all last night.” To “I want to be with you forever.”